cover image Bunnies!!!


Kevan Atteberry. HarperCollins/Tegen, $12.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-230783-5

Wild excitement at meeting new friends and the struggle to control emotions make Atteberry’s monster hero an effective (and funny) stand-in for a certain sort of child. His blue, ovoid monster is happy to see everything in the forest (“Hello, tree. Hello clouds”), but when it spots four candy-colored bunnies, its joy knows no bounds: “BUNNIES!!!” It starts to chase the bunnies, who—understandably—run and hide. The spurned monster continues walking, shoulders slumped, its tail dragging; it halfheartedly continues to greet an ever-more-depressing array of objects (“Hello, stick. Hello, dirt”). The bunnies can be seen hiding behind trees, conflicted; they don’t want to be overwhelmed, but they don’t want to make the monster sad, either. At last, the bunnies willingly subject themselves to the monster’s exuberance—until something new catches its attention, that is. In his first outing as author, Atteberry (Halloween Hustle) concentrates on conveying the monster’s tempestuous feelings (and lots of giggles besides) in polished scenes that mix single- and double-page images with sequential panels. A diplomatic exploration of loving not wisely, but too well. Ages 4–8. Agent: Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. (Jan.)